Restaurants prepping for possible Valentine's Day, Ash Wednesday customer influx

I'm going to tell everyone: "'You are loved and you are going to die, '" Christopher James, a professor at the Presbyterian University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, said on Twitter.

Most Americans view Valentine's Day as a secular holiday, according to The New York Times, filled with frivolous spending.

Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, precedes Easter by exactly 46 days.

Nearly partied out? Thinking about that day after Fat Tuesday, when you have an excuse to do nothing at all, except maybe go to church and receive ashes on your forehead? "There's so much about modern life that prevents spending quality time together".

"Catholics throughout the world recognize Ash Wednesday as the solemn beginning of a period of prayerful reflection and penance, as is evident by the large number of churchgoers on this day", the statement reads. "Our evening Ash Wednesday worship is usually lightly attended, but past year we had about 10 first time visitors who came because they had heard of Glitter+Ash".

A traditional Ash Wednesday service will be held at the church at 6:30 129 Woods Mill Rd. Since then many Episcopal churches across the country have joined in to offer Ashes to Go, particularly at key commuter lines.

Many people will give up something during Lent such as candy, tobacco, alcohol or coffee as a way of sacrifice.

"It's 40 days of intentional prayer and being in a relationship with God", Nakamura-Rengers said.

While the church will also have have an Ash Wednesday service, Peich said the point of Ash and Dash is not to get away from tradition, but rather to make it more accessible to people that want to participate.

The central message is from Genesis, a reminder of human mortality and dependence on God.

Ash Wednesday is characterized by placing ashes on the forehead, with the minister reminding the congregant that "you are dust and to dust you shall return". "That applies to anybody". This year Ash Wednesday lands on February 14 and as it quickly approaches, let's be reminded of the opportunity this holiday presents us with. "Christ is alive and we'll be raised from the dead with him".

While that dual-day revelation still may be 24 hours off for guys used to last-minute Valentine's Day gift shopping, it will affect plans for area Catholics and some people of other Christian faiths.

The Catholic faithful at the Coast have been urged to pray for the nation as they begin the period of lent.

  • Kyle Peterson